Kelly Sloop wants to be of service
Kelly Sloop has learned she's not a politician, but she would like to be a school board member. Sloop, who lost a race for state representative of House District 37 last November, is now running for position 5 on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board against David Jones and Seiji Shiratori.
"I just want to serve in one way or another and that's why I thought I might be better suited to just run for a school board position. It's local; it's nonpartisan," she said.
Sloop grew up in West Linn, lived elsewhere for a bit and moved back 25 years ago with her family.
"It's a great place to live. I'm very dedicated to the community," she said. "I just want to give back to the community. I'm very invested in this community and I just have a heart for kids."
Sloop said she originally went to school to become a pediatrician, but soon learned medical school would be too costly. She went on to instead become a pharmacist.
Sloop has three children who attended schools in the district and said she was very active in their education as a parent and volunteer.
"My kids are out of school, which is why I feel it's time because I feel like I have the wisdom knowing how the education system prepared them for college — what was good and what is lacking," she said. "I have the time and I want to serve the community and give back to West Linn-Wilsonville."
Sloop's campaign priorities include returning to a five-day school week, retaining the school resource officer program and addressing what she sees as a lack of transparency between the board and the public.
On the priority of returning to school, she said she wants a five-day school week to be an option for families.
"I do realize that there's families right now that their children are thriving with the comprehensive distance learning and for those families I would like to make some kind of program or activity where these students could connect with their friends and peers," she said.
She said hybrid learning is a logistical challenge for families and educators.
"And I do feel that if they were in school full time it would create a safer environment because it's more controlled," she said.
The retention of the school resource officer program is also important to her.
"Families were surveyed here in the district and they overwhelmingly supported them ... I also want to make sure that our teachers have a safe classroom that is free of disruptive and negative behaviors," she said.
The survey Sloop referenced included 2,447 responses and captured responses from roughly 3% of the district's student population and around 8% of the parent population. Director of Communications Andrew Kilstrom said it was the largest survey response the district had received in recent years.
"I also advocate for a safe, tolerant, inclusive and respectful learning environment for all students regardless of race, gender, culture or belief," she said.
Communication with the community is another area she hopes to address if elected.
"From a community standpoint, I think we need to be, as board members, a little proactive on the communication aspect. As I listen to the board meetings, there seems to be a little bit of disconnect and a little bit of a lack of trust with a lack of transparency," she said.
She thinks the disconnect stems from communication not being proactive, so when things happen it comes as a surprise to the community.
"I want people to know that I am a good listener and I am a proponent of healthy conversations. I do value other people's opinions and perspectives because it helps make informed decisions," Sloop said.
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